Nearly everyone owns at least one pair of jeans, if not multiple. There is so much to love about denim: its range of shades, faded appearance, it’s versatility. We all love denim so much that it’s estimated that billions of jeans, and with that...
Nearly everyone owns at least one pair of jeans, if not multiple. There is so much to love about denim: its range of shades, faded appearance, it’s versatility. We all love denim so much that it’s estimated that billions of jeans, and with that 70,000 tons of indigo, are produced each year. What you may not know is that synthetic indigo and most dyes are made from fossil fuels and are processed using toxic chemicals. Indigo, along with many other dyes used in the textile industry pollutes waterways, damages local ecosystems, and impacts the health of the people working in the mislls and factories.
Michelle Zhu and Tammy Tsu are on a mission to change that. They are the founders of Huue, a biotech company that is using genetically engineered microbes to create the natural indigo dye. While they are starting with indigo, Michelle and Tammy’s larger vision is to create the next generation of sustainable dyes that are better for people and the planet.
I’m grateful to Diana Kapp who shared their story in her book, “Girls Who Green the World”. You can listen to my conversation with Diana in Episode 74 (listen here).
About Michelle Zhu
Michelle Zhu is CEO & Co-founder of Huue, a biotechnology company creating the world's most sustainable dyes for the industries that are shaping the future of the Earth, starting with the indigo in your jeans. Its mission is to minimize the number of toxic chemicals used in the dye production and application process. With a family background in fashion and a career in business operations and strategy, Michelle currently manages all aspects of Huue's operations, fundraising, and sales efforts. She has been recognized as a 2021 Inc Female Founder, a 2022 Forbes 30 Under 30, and a 2022 Entrepreneur Woman of Influence. Michelle received her BSBA from Washington University in St. Louis.
About Tammy Hsu
Dr. Tammy Hsu is a scientist working at the intersection of biology and sustainable fashion. She is the Chief Scientific Officer of Huue, a Berkley-based startup working to revolutionize the dyes and colorants industry, starting with indigo for denim. Their bio-based solution removes the need for toxic chemicals in the indigo production and dyeing processes. Tammy completed her Ph.D. in Bioengineering at UC Berkeley at John Dueber's prestigious synbio lab, where her doctoral research laid the foundation for Huue’s technology. Prior to that, she earned a BS at Stanford University. She is Inc Female Founder 100, one of Newsweek's America's 50 Greatest Disruptors, an MIT 35 Under 35, and a 2022 Entrepreneur Woman of Influence.
Connect with Huue
Support the Podcast
Support the podcast by shopping with my affiliate partners. By shopping using my links and promo codes, you help to fund the ongoing production of the show. These companies align with my mission to help make people and the planet safer, healthier, and happier. View a full list of my affiliate partners and the discount codes here.
Shop Beautycounter: You can also support the podcast by supporting my business with Beautycounter.
Use the promo code CLEANFORALL20 for 20% off your first purchase. www.beautycounter.com/regannelson